Oliebollen are traditional Dutch donuts. Now, you may think you know all about donuts – especially in North America, where doughnut shops are on almost every city street corner. But trust me, until you have tasted authentic, traditional Oliebollen, you just haven’t yet made it to doughnut heaven!
- 2 small packets of (instant) dry yeast
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar, plus 1 tsp. more
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tsp. salt
- 8 cups sunflower oil
- ground cinnamon
- powdered sugar
- In a small mixing bowl, combine 1 teaspoon of sugar with hot water. Sprinkle in yeast, floating on top, and let it stand for 10 minutes. The yeast should bubble – if it doesn’t, throw this batch out and start over with new yeast, because the yeast is old and no longer active. Once the yeast is bubbling well, stir it into and combine it well with the sugar water.
- In a larger mixing bowl, mix together the sugar and flour. Create a deep well in the middle of the mixture.
- Into the well, add the eggs and the yeast/sugar-water mixture.
- Warm the milk up to lukewarm. Add just half of the warmed milk into the well in the flour and mix everything together until all ingredients are well combined; then, add the rest of the milk and thoroughly combine everything again.
- Place a damp dish towel over the bowl, and leave it covered to rise in a warm area for a full hour – or until the dough has doubled in size. When the dough has doubled, stir in the salt. (Note: do not let the dough sit for more than an hour or two, or the yeast will go inactive)
- In a large, deep skillet, or in a deep fryer, heat the oil. When droplets of water tossed into the oil pop and sizzle, the oil is at the correct hot temperature.
- You will need a slotted spoon to remove the oliebollen from the hot oil, and two tablespoons – to handle and mold the dough.
- Dip the tablespoons into the oil; use them to pull out and form small balls out of the raised dough pile. Being careful, scrape the balls gently into the hot oil. Your little oliebollen balls will sink to the bottom of the skillet and pop back up immediately. You will probably have to work in batches, depending on the size of your skillet. You do not want the balls touching each other while cooking. My skillet allows about 6 balls in at a time.
- Deep fry them, carefully turning over now and then, until they turn a rich, golden brown all over.
- As you pull the balls out of the oil, place them on a paper towel-lined tray to drain.
- Lastly, using a sieve, dust the tops with ground cinnamon and powdered sugar.
- Serve your Oliebollen while still nice and warm.
- Any Oliebollen not eaten right away can be stored for up to two days. Allow them to cool to room temperature, then store them in an airtight container. When you are ready to serve them again, simply warm them up in the oven or a microwave. If you are not going to serve them within a couple days, store them in the freezer – they will still taste good for up to 2 months.
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